0

It is possible to state a fraction such as ¾ in words as follows: three fourths.

Can someone please let me know how to say ¹⁄ in words?

  • 2
    The reciprocal of x. One part in x. – Kris May 9 '18 at 9:34
  • To add on @kris's answer: one over x, or one divided by x. – JJJ May 9 '18 at 9:47
  • Thank you all. So I cannot say one x-th. Right? – MTMD May 9 '18 at 9:48
  • 2
    One over x is one of the most frequently used, especially in Calculus class. Edit: No you can't say one x-th. I have never heard anyone say this. – Stallmp May 9 '18 at 9:48
  • 1
    "An nth" is already well in use. So, it depends on the context: "In fact, the black holes took so much with an xth of a millisecond that they instantly reverted and became white holes." "... gas at position x. Leaving an xth of a tank so it can get back ...". – Kris May 9 '18 at 10:01
3

There are a number of options, and none are particularly preferred because the need to phrase this specific quantity in everyday English is not common.

So, in no particular order:

  • One out of x
  • One over x
  • One x-th

Choose whichever suits your needs or will work best for your audience.

  • 3
    Mathematician here! "One over x" is far and away the most common of those choices. – Brendan W. Sullivan May 9 '18 at 14:39
  • As a mathematician, would anyone in real life say “the reciprocal of x” for 1/x? I didn’t put it in because the notation makes this feels like an elementary or arithmetic context, as opposed to a more advanced or algebraic context, where I’d expect words like “reciprocal” to be paired with notations like x^-1. Not sure if I should add it as a suggestion to the answer or not. – Jane May 9 '18 at 14:45
  • It does depend on context. For example, if I were explaining how to solve the equation xy = 5 for the variable y (in terms of the other variable x), I might say, "Multiply both sides by the reciprocal of x." – Brendan W. Sullivan May 9 '18 at 14:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.